Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Montana EcosytemPhoto credit: Ken Calhoun

Yellowstone National Park is often called the birthplace of conservation. Its creation in 1872 came at a time when the concept of preserving a large tract of land for “the benefit and enjoyment of the people” was revolutionary. Now, 130 years later, this historic landscape is seen as an island. The land surrounding the park – land that includes watersheds and wildlife corridors – is critical to the fate of Yellowstone’s iconic wildlife, and is vulnerable to development pressures.

One of only two remaining intact ecosystems in the lower 48 states, The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) is a vestige of wild America. Embracing approximately 18 million acres in and around Yellowstone National Park, the GYE includes some of our nation’s most cherished landscapes and diverse wildlife, including rare trumpeter swans, wolves, one of the last viable grizzly bear populations outside of Alaska, and the largest elk and free-roaming bison herds in North America.

In less than ten years, we have completed nearly 40 projects in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, protecting more than 67,000 acres of this extraordinary landscape.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3.3 million acres and completed more than 5,400 park and conservation projects.